Friday, November 28, 2008

ThankZoo - a Special Thank You

By Lauren Kraft, Zoo Web Blogger

At this time of Thanksgiving celebration, our thoughts turn gratefully to you with warm appreciation. One of the joys of Thanksgiving is wishing you a happy Holiday Season and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

This year we are giving thanks by offering Free Admission to the Zoo today from 10 am to 4 pm.

You can give back this holiday season to the community during your Zoo visit.

Bring a non-perishable food item for our November food drive. All donations benifit the Sacramento Food Bank.

Or, donate a new and unrapped toy to Toys for Tots and greet the Marines helping out.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Roots & Shoots - Orang Awareness

By Jaime Wilson, Zoo Blog Keeper

Over the weekend of November 15-16, Marigold Roots & Shoots, from Chico, and the Sacramento Zoo Teens came out to teach people about Orangutan Awareness Week and raise some money for the Orangs.

Roots & Shoots is the Jane Goodall Institute’s global, environmental and humanitarian program for youth. In classrooms, community-based clubs and youth groups, Roots & Shoots members plan and participate in activities and service projects that promote care and concern for animals, the environment, and the human community. Through its diverse international membership, Roots & Shoots fosters respect, understanding and exchange among individuals of different cultures and countries.

The Marigold Roots & Shoots and the Sacramento Zoo Teens did a great job, with beautiful displays, enthusiastic kids and a sense of contributing to something bigger than themselves. Thanks you guys!

Check out their blog, for pictures and more!

You can find out more about the Sacramento Zoo Roots & Shoot program here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

"Thank You Miss Jaime!"

By Jaime Wilson, Web Development and Fundraising Coordinator

While building the new SacZoo website, I had the pleasure of working with quite a few people over at Blackbaud in Charleston, SC. They supply software to non profits among other things and I've always enjoyed speaking with them.

This past summer, I received an email from Tina, asking if she could come by the Zoo while out visiting with family. She had gotten my name from our account rep and wanted to just see how we do business while also treating her nieces and sister-in-law to a day at the Zoo. After a couple of cancelled trips, she finally made it out.

And I got way more than I bargained for!

I thought it would be a kind of business meeting/networking thing. Instead it was a really fun afternoon with her family, especially the nieces, Bridgit and Camille. I walked them around the Zoo and took them back to see the giraffes up close, which they loved!

After their trip, we posted photos on our home page slide show which made it through their family circuit. Then, I had the privilege to go to the Conference for Nonprofits in Charleston last week and I got another surprise, kid art! I love kid art! The girls both make me pictures to say thanks for the Zoo visit, with a big "Thank You Miss Jaime" on the back.

Sometimes working at the Zoo has the most surprising and rewarding benefits that have nothing to do with a paycheck. You gotta love that.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Recycle Rummage Sale

By Jaime Wilson, Green Team Member
Twice a year the Green Team takes over our Kampala Conference Center and fills it with great new and gently used bargains. This is one of my favorite things we do. Mostly because I love thrift stores and garage sales! And also, because we find new homes for all of this great stuff and the money we raise goes to conservation efforts at the Zoo and around the world. It really is a win, win situation.
Three truck loads of stuff was moved up yesterday and then we started unpacking, sorting and pricing. It is a huge job!
Looking over the whole room, I think this is the most we have ever had for our sale. Special thanks goes to three donors:
  1. Zoo Member Jaime: She closed up her cat themed boutique store and gave us 14 boxes of new collectibles!
  2. AAE (African American Expressions): They donated a car load of stationary, journals, book covers and greeting cards.
  3. Zoo Member Nick: He is a collector and purged some of his collection including a table full of Garfield plush, Ruldolph, Simpsons and Sesame Street Collectibles.

And thanks to all of the other Zoo Member and Zoo Staff donors!

Come by and see what you can find! Bring your own bag and we will give you a free present.

Sale Hours
SacZoo Members: Friday, November 21, 1-4pm
General Public: Saturday, November 22, 10am-4pm

Thursday, November 20, 2008

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

by Val, the Reticulated giraffe

I was asked to talk a little about myself. While I enjoy my browse and the yummy fruit bottles (however, I would like to request more bananas), my favorite enrichment involves pumpkins. Yes, pumpkins. Not pie and not muffins. Just plain old whole raw pumpkins.

Every so often the keepers place a pumpkin in my exhibit. I take my time and stroll over, you see, I don’t want anyone to think I care that much. I carefully place my foot on the top and test the vegetable for freshness. I casually glance away and begin my amazing yet graceful footwork with the “ball”. I can keep control and pass the ball between my lovely four legs without a single glance down. Watch out David Beckham! Now, being a giraffe in fine standing in the community, I don’t like to do this activity TOO often, I find the jealousy from the other giraffes is overwhelming.

Think about what shots I could hit off the new barn, “goaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllllll!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Spot that Amphibian

By SacZoo Web blogger

Next time you are out at the Zoo, keep your eyes peeled and try to spot the new frogs in the Reptile House. Panamanian golden frogs, Yellow-banded dart frogs, Whites tree frogs, and two Caecilians have all joined our population of amphibians. The Panamanian golden frog is an endangered toad managed by a Species Survival Plan program in AZAS accredited Zoos and the El Valle Conservation Center in Panama. These conservation efforts to breed the toads are their only chance for survival.

Panamanian golden frog

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sacramento Zoo on Twitter!

By Zoo Blog Keeper

Are any of you on Twitter? The Sacramento Zoo just joined Twitter and now you can follow us while you are on the go!

Twitter is a great site where you post what you are doing. Then people can follow you and you can follow them. The best part is that you can get your updates on your phone, pda or other portal device.
Follow the Zoo on Twitter, and get insider updates and stories via our tweets. Find us by our profile name SacramentoZoo (no spaces!).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lions: Goodbye Luxor, Welcome Kamau

By Zoo Blog Keeper

As recommended by the Lion Species Survival Plan®, our male lion, Luxor, is moving to the Peoria Zoo in Illinois. We will miss Luxor, but the breeding recommendation by the SSP was to bring Kamau, from the San Diego Wild Animal Park, to breed with our current female lion.

Kamau’s genes are highly desirable, as his parents’ genetics are underrepresented in the community. A fundamental conservation issue is the preservation of genetic diversity in the captive population, and new bloodlines brought into the breeding arena are essential. We are excited to welcome 2-year-old Kamau to our Zoo family and hope he will bring new additions to our family.

Luxor will be leaving the November 15, so come say goodbye! Kamau should be out on exhibit in the next month, after going through introductions to the female lion, Cleo.

Here is Luxor with sister Cleo at the Sacramento Zoo.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Baby Bibs and Being Green

By Ann Geiger, Education Director

So what does a baby bib have to do with the zoo? As we all try to look for new ways to be green, don't forget the tried and true old ideas.

When I was growing up my Aunt would occasionally send me a box of hand me downs from my cousin. I loved getting the box of clothes because I knew my cousin had helped pick out the stuff she thought I might enjoy and in my mind she was "way cool!"

Working here at the zoo we have an extended family of friends that network together to help each other and pass things along. Take for instance the bib in the picture, it started out at one of our docents homes for her daughter, then it went to our Education Manager Amanda's daughter and then to my granddaughter and now it is with our keeper Lacey who is expecting next month.
Networking with the people close to us, saved money, time, gas and we all get to see the extended life of the things we are exchanging.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Boo at the Zoo Slideshow

By Zoo Blog Keeper

Boo at the Zoo 2008 was awesome! With rain coming down before and after the event, we had the perfect window of dry skies to have almost 3,000 folks come out to have a spook-tacular good time!

There were a lot of little zoo animals, superheros and princesses running around, playing games, dancing on the stage, and trick-or-treating. The magic show was full at every performance, kids were gleefully grossed out by the touchy-feely mystery boxes and the alien encounter area was a little scary, but kids wanted to go back again and again!

Thanks to everyone who volunteered and all the families that came! It was a successful fundraiser for the Zoo and just a whole lot of fun.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Education Bulletin: New Aviaries

By the Education Department

Providing a home for native wildlife here at the Zoo shines a spotlight on the rich biodiversity that exists all around us. The Mediterranean region of California is designated by Conservation International as a Biodiversity Hotspot ( A biodiversity hotspot is an area with a large number of species that are only found locally and has lost over 70% of its original habitat. The California Floristic Province is home to the giant sequoia, the planet's largest living organism and holds a number of threatened endemic species.

Two new aviaries are opening soon in The Zoo’s Backyard with native species, Burrowing owls and Yellow-billed magpies. Burrowing owls are funny little creatures with long legs and big eyes that prefer to stand around on the ground and hunt at dawn and dusk. The burrowing owl population is considered at risk in California because of habitat degradation and destruction.

Yellow-billed magpies are a new species to the Zoo. You may be familiar with these charismatic, colorful, and noisy birds, but you may not know that they are only found in California. In fact, birders from around the world travel to California specifically to add these striking birds to their “life list.” Unfortunately, their isolation in California means they are vulnerable because, as our population grows and habitat becomes scarce, yellow-billed magpies will have no where else to go.

It is our hope that being surrounded by the animals at our Zoo will inspire you to conserve and “live green” in your daily life. The next time you are here, pay special attention to the California natives who call the Zoo home because these are the animals that will experience the greatest direct impact from your daily choices.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sharing Quality Time With Your Kids

By Pam Williams, Development Department

My 32-year-old son, Beau, came for a visit last week. He and his brother, Cory, run Crocodile Bay Lodge on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica and have lived there for over eight years. Needless to say, I don’t get to spend much time with my boys since they moved to Costa Rica, but we try to make the most of each visit.

After eating (lots of Mom’s home cooking!), shopping (Costco and Borders) and taking in an afternoon matinee (the Batman movie), how do you entertain a grown child? The Sacramento Zoo, of course!

Although there is no doubt that Costa Rica has an abundance of exotic wildlife, the Sacramento Zoo offers all the favorites in one location. When the boys were young, we often visited the Oakland and San Francisco Zoos. Seeing giraffe, zebras and chimps last week brought back memories of earlier zoo excursions, and we enjoyed playing “remember when” as we strolled from one exhibit to the next.

The moral of this story? You are never too old to enjoy a visit to the zoo with your son, even if he is six and a half feet tall!